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Escape from Amsterdam

3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Aozora---idle university student, future crooked bureaucrat, fresh broken heart---has been playing too much mah-jongg and now finds himself deep in debt. When Auntie Okane dies and leaves him and his sister Mai a priceless inheritance, he thinks his problems are solved. But they’re only just beginning.

Mai’s disappeared, taken hostage by a notorious yakuza gang. Aozora can
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published July 2nd 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 180)
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Emi Bevacqua
Mar 31, 2009 Emi Bevacqua rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to Japanophiles
Shelves: sci-fi, asia
This book really read like a manga, set in a future where the baser aspects of today's Japan have really taken hold and flourished. I absolutely HATED Sin City, the movie that was based on a graphic novel and was violent and artistic at the same time, and this book did remind me of that... but the writer's hilarious take on Japanese perversion and fantasy and money won me over.

I'm not sure if somebody who didn't live in Japan or study Japanese would get so much out of this book though, it might
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Rebecca
Ok library pick. I wasn't wowed by his prose or anything but the way he tried to combine illustration into the tale was a pleasure. There were some things I didn't quite understand about the attitude of the main character and I wonder if that is because I am not Japanese. I couldn't tell if I was supposed to identify with him or loathe him. I went with loathe. Read in about a day - it doesn't take much out of you this book.
Addie Cole
only a couple pages in, but it is my understanding that this book contains a phony princess, topiary dinosaurs, and high-tech love dolls so I have high hopes.
Gerund
IT'S not easy to judge this book by its cover, given how it seems to give off all kinds of conflicting infomation at first glance.
First, the title seems to imply some kind of failed holiday to Holland, possibly involving prison.
This is paired with the image of an Asian-looking girl, the stark lines and solid colours suggesting Japanese woodcut prints.
Lastly, there's that distinctly English author name -- a peak at the back flap reveals that Sherwood was born in Hong Kong, has lived in Canada an
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Kat Sicard
Escape from Amsterdam is a creative thriller about modern-day Japan. The main character, Aozora, is an apathetic student at Kyoto University, aspiring to do nothing more than fix bids at the Ministry of Construction. He's obsessed with brand-names and just wants to make easy money and retire early. When his Mahjong debts become too much, he's given a gift. An old Aunt left him and his sister a priceless collection of art. The only problem, he must find his sister. She's been non-communicative fo ...more
Kate
If you’re looking for a detailed description of a Japan you couldn’t imagine or wouldn’t believe, this is a great book.
If you’re looking for a plot or even one likeable character, stay far far away.

This story of an odyssey by a Japanese student to find his sister (who is potentially in danger—but is really in a whacky servitude) left me feeling bogged down in detail. The main character, Aozora is beyond unlikeable. He is so unconcerned with his mission (until the last few pages) that I don’t ca
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Iggy D.
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I picked it up from the library one day and had to go buy a copy of my own.
Escape from Amsterdam is a fast paced, witty, modern novel that taps into this generation's contradiction: we watch heroes and play heroes in movies, TV, and video games, but in real life we rarely imitate the selfless actions or attitudes of our "role models."
Aozora Fujiwara is the perfect example of this: he's a fairly unassuming, lovelorn, young man who happens to be in troubl
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Kathy
This book had some really enjoyable moments and a quirky sense of humour. The narrator was a self-centred creep but that gave the book a lot of its humour. The style and story wore thin about 2/3rds of the way through but it ended quite well.
David
This book was what it was - a fun romp through Japan, where a nerdy protagonist just won't quit until he's saved his sister from indentured servitude to the Yakuza. A less well-written, faster-paced NumberNineDream, ridiculous at times but never claiming to be anything else. You can very much tell the author ISN'T Japanese, but possesses a lot of esoteric knowledge about Japanese culture and popculture that will reward Otaku like me. Fun times.
Chilly SavageMelon
3.5 stars maybe...
A pleasing enough thriller, though some of the action bits are rather wackball. Some of the devices used to pull in the kids ("picture the following unfolding like a video game...") were sort of lame, but for all I know, will appeal to the kids. There was something skill-full at work, despite contrived elements and I'd read future works from Sherwood to see where he goes from here.
Eric
Japan is so strange even the Japanese don't recognize it anymore. Consequently a Yakuza boss gets the idea to build a theme park, "A new Kyoto. A new old Kyoto, just the way it looked fifty years ago." It'll be called J-Land or maybe Japan City (the name, he admits, still needs work). An unusual novel, and a picaresque peek into a country that seems to reinvent itself with every new generation.
Tara Thai
Despite some pretty bad reviews, this book was ok. At least it was worth the $4.50 paid at the SFO bookstore :)

Entertaining...but as many other people said, the end is a little bit rushed, but overall it was a pretty entertaining reading and I loved the graphics…
Luke
A surprisingly deep tale - deeper than the cover would have you believe. If you've an interest in Japan, in globalisation, the yakuza, familial bonds or the generation gap, there's something in here for you.
Jacqui
A pretty exciting and fast-paced thriller set in Japan. Had some weird aspects to it and at times a nihilistic tone, but overall a good read.
Sandi
Extremely weird look at modern Japan. A college student must find his sister who has become embroiled with the Yakuza.
Steven Farmer
I'm looking forward to the next Barrie Sherwood book.
Snarky's
Where's my sandwich?
Balaji
Balaji added it
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Jennifer marked it as to-read
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